Rackspace

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Rackspace Reviews

Updated Jul 25, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 457 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

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Graham Weston

(53 ratings)

77% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Culture is amazing and I've never had more a better work/life balance(in 25 reviews)

  • Great culture and endless opportunities (if you earn them)(in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Middle management is the worst I've seen in my career in most departments(in 30 reviews)

  • Work life balance can be a challenge - not nearly as bad as Amazon(in 10 reviews)

457 Employee Reviews
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    Great company with amazing Rackers creating an excellent workplace.

    Sales Engineer (Current Employee) Austin, TX (US)

    ProsA 6-year Racker, I am proud to work for a company that makes coming to work every day enjoyable. Rackspace is full of opportunities for employees to explore their passions and help create a world-class company in which people are proud of their career. I have watched Rackspace grow from a privately-held company with approximately 1000 employees to a publicly-traded enterprise-class company and home for 5000+ Rackers. Our Core values are held in the highest regard by everyone in the company, from contracted hourly workers to C-Level executives. Many times have I witnessed and been a part of Rackers banding together to take care of their fellow Rackers, treating them just like family.

    Even considering Rackspace is an IT-based company, non-technical employees can expand their knowledge through on-the-job training, classroom training, college courses, and mentoring with other Rackers. Rackspace is a company where ambition and personal drive is rewarded with continual personal growth and expertise. There are not many companies this size where all employees have the ability to provide feedback or suggestions that could very possibly better the entire company.

    Additionally, the unique culture at Rackspace resonates in all Rackers. Part of the interview process deals with culture and team-fit. Front-line Rackers have input on prospective candidates ensuring that the people who are hired are genuine and will continue to define what a Racker is.

    Being constantly surrounded by some of the smartest, most innovative, and determined thinkers enables Rackers to continually learn from each other, enable each other, and forgive each other. Rackers are humans, as we all are, and we cannot be afraid to try new things, even if we make mistakes or don't perfect the process the first time. Some of the most valuable things I have learned at Rackspace has come from others personal experiences and together we can improve processes, ourselves, and pass knowledge onto to others for further innovation.

    I am also very much a fan of our open-door policy and general accessibility to anyone or any department. When you can walk a few rows over and brainstorm with the President of the entire company, it makes you truly feel that you are a vital part of a living corporation. Having a voice, and knowing that voice is heard, is a satisfying feeling. Knowing you are a Racker with a name, a personality, a contributor and a thinker is so much more rewarding then just being an unknown employee of a gigantic company.

    ConsRackers know that with perks and a free-spirited culture comes with disadvantages as well. Compared to other corporations in the industry, the pay-scale can be on the lower side than with another employer. Rackspace has recognized this, however, and is working towards salary market adjustments and is investing in employee and talent retention.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to always be transparent to Racker, always. As we have grown, messages and direction can be lost in translation. We are featured much more in the media and market journalism. Before a Racker reads something online in a blog or media outlet, ensure that things have been communicated internally, and even over-communicated if need be, to avoid speculation, rumors, fears and doubt. Although tedious at times, making sure important messages are communicated through all internal methods can help inform Rackers. Use live-forums, smaller sessions, email communication, printed communication, etc., to best spread the word to Rackers.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Fun, high growth and fast paced enviroment

    Sales Representative (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX (US)

    ProsGreat people to work with, ability to telecommute, great sense of company pride and fun culture

    ConsLong hours, ability to telecommute means you're always working

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great company to work for in general...

    Customer Support Technician (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX (US)

    ProsThe people hired at Rackspace are wonderful to work with.
    Benefits are great
    Environment is awesome-- HQ offers a full-service Rec center with fitness classes and personal training sessions, Airrosti, etc.
    Lots of career opportunities if you can find them and have the time to dedicate to shadowing outside of your day to day job.

    ConsWorking in support you don't get much time to appreciate all of the fun activities and games that are offered or time to shadow other teams
    Overworked due to headcount
    Very demanding and draining work
    Little recognition
    Sit at a desk for 8+ hours

    Advice to Senior ManagementSince Fanatical Support is what our business is all about, it would be nice to see more effort and value put into our support Rackers.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    It's a great company with great promise and passion.

    Director (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX (US)

    ProsUnparalleled passion and commitment. I've never worked for a company more committed to the people. nThe work-life balance is great and most roles/managers take a "as long as you get your work done" mentality that is very empowering.

    ConsConstant re-organizations and prioritization changes are exhausting. We talk about preventing/eliminating silos in the org but they always seem to pop up. We need to incentivize groups to communicate/coordinate better and not just "hope it will happen naturally".

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't change directions so often. The big picture path has been relatively steady but be more conscious of the effects of re-prioritization.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Rackspace has a fun atmosphere.

    Linux Systems Administrator II (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX (US)

    ProsAbility to learn and grow in a fun environment. Managers care and are willing to work with you on schedules and projects.

    ConsIt can be frustrating at times due to much disorganization. Different departments are sometimes working on similar projects leading to inefficiency. Training is provided to a certain level, but there is no structured training for advanced topics.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf Rackspace is going to differentiate itself from competitors based on support, then the support floor needs to be more valued instead of being treated like "people who barely made it through community college" as I've heard people say.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    great place

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosloved team culture and camaraderie

    Consnot much room for growth

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    Long time Racker and I love this place!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX (US)

    ProsThe opportunities at Rackspace are fantastic. I've been here for many years and I have learned and grown so much.

    ConsRackspace changes a lot internally. We do this because we have a 'do whatever it takes for the customer attitude' and sometimes that means a full on re-org. We aren't afraid of change in fact we embrace it. This can make things tough when it comes to consistency, or success of long term projects.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Best place I've ever worked, but is slowly turning into just another corporate husk.

    Linux Systems Engineer III (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX (US)

    ProsRackspace is by far the best company I've ever worked for and has literally changed my life for the better, both physically in improved health and well-being, but also emotionally because it provided me an environment where I felt like I belonged. It's truly the first job I've had where I've been able to experience the positive impact I'm making on others in a real way while also at the same time getting to touch technology that's so new it won't even necessarily "hit shelves" until over a year later.

    You will meet many smart, talented, passionate people at this company and they will help take you on a mental journey you never thought was possible. Many of them will end up being your new best friends. When you mix together the energy and talent with the technology resources available you end up being involved in some amazing projects that really put you on the bleeding edge of what's possible. You'll always be learning something new and being exposed to new ideas. Put this all together with a culture that embodies responsibility, honesty, transparency, and getting the job done and you end up in extremely effective teams that thrive on honest feedback and doing the best they can do.

    ConsI would say the two biggest downsides of Rackspace are:

    1) The upsides are shrinking. As the company has grown the beautiful and unique culture that makes Rackspace so great has diminished considerably. This is largely due to poor hiring choices in leadership which has been extremely impactful in a negative way on the company even after some of these poor choices are dealt with my letting those leaders go.

    In some particular groups leaders that were fired over 3 years ago still have a lasting negative impact on how things are done because new leaders brought into to replace them did not effectively identify the things which their predecessor did wrong and fix all of them. In many ways this is a failure of middle management that's caused because of the tendency for new leaders to bring in a cadre of cronies that follow them from whatever corporate husk they left, and if the leader gets fired, the cronies stay making it that much more difficult for a new leader to effectively resolve the things that didn't work.

    2) The general level of compensation is well below market rate for a technology firm. It's pretty much always been this way, but most Rackers were okay with this in return for getting to be involved in such a wonderful culture and company and getting relatively unrestricted access to company resources to engage their minds on whatever it was at the moment they wanted to learn about. As the company has grown though the culture has dwindled and with it more restrictive policies have been created which prevent employees from being fully mentally engaged in the curiosities that drive them. It's led to a situation where many of the bright talented people I interact with come to work every day not sure exactly what they should even be doing because they don't solve problems by mandate, they solve problems by discovery.

    A company where it was once acceptable to have beer during meetings as long as you weren't drunk at you desk and where every employee had significant access to technology resources to try new things just to see if they'll work is what lead to the creation of many of the innovative technical concepts and methods of achieving them that exist today. Instead we've replaced that with company policies that won't even let me stream a documentary from Netflix on a separate monitor while I'm pulling an overnight shift in operations effectively monitoring systems which are highly automated in case an immediate response is necessary.

    This lack of compensation and this failure of culture has lead to a massive brain drain as the vast majority of long-time old school Rackers are bailing on the company. Anyone who is a strong technical talent is in high demand in the market, especially the likes of those who helped drive the beginnings of Cloud computing. Failure to compensate these people properly while demanding that they comply to asinine policies is a guaranteed way to lose them and with it lose the company's ability to execute effectively.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake the red pill and wake up to reality. Middle management is lying to you constantly and you believe it, and you're being dragged into so many meetings you no longer have time to effectively talk to people on the floor to understand what's really going on. You need to fix this and the only way to do that is go back to our core values and our basics, which is communicate honestly and talk to the folks on the floor as your peers.

    If you take action at all, do the following, do it soon, and do it right:

    1) Fix the compensation issue. Yes, it'll increase payroll expense which will result in a net increase in opex. But, it can be offset by the other thing you should be doing.

    2) Clean house. And when I say this, I'm not talking about the guys on the floor, I'm talking about the bloat of middle management and sort-of upper management (Director and below) that's lead to constantly reducing productivity and our general too many chiefs not enough indians problem. Some things /need/ management, a lot of things need less management, and sometimes things just need the right management. At the end of the day though, management, middle management especially, is what's killing this company. Not the techs on the floor, and not even necessarily the people near the top.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Beware the dark side

    Decline to State (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX (US)

    ProsFun atmosphere, constant change, lots of challenging work, and significant opportunity for advancement if you play the social and political game correctly.

    ConsThere is a very dark underbelly to the company's constant focus on its core values. In most cases, people really live these values but they are very frequently used as a weapon to ostracize people who challenge too much or who are disliked by the powerful social cliques that run the place. Rackspace claims to be a pure meritocracy but it is a great deal more like high school. If you can be one of the popular kids and are good at what you do, you can grow an amazing career at Rackspace. On the other hand, if you are great at what you do but you are threatening to any of the in-groups, you're going to suffer intensely.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou REALLY need to get G&A under control and it's going to take cuts to headcount to do it. There are long-time Rackers who have risen far past their highest point of competence and you need to stop treating tenure as though it is the equal of merit.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Was A Great Place To Work... Was

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsRS is very good to their employees on the surface. There are many perks, everyone is stoked to go to work, and it seems as though you're going to have a ton of fun on the job. In many areas of the company this is completely true and RS provides. They provide a very fun, relaxed environment that allows you to thrive if you're a self starter.

    ConsManagement is becoming less and less "Rackspace." Over the last couple years the management team has become full of managers operating under the theory X style of management. They have driven many, many long term Rackers out, including the CEO. If management doesn't look to those leaders who have been around since the early days (those that are left) they're going to drive them away. I went from a die hard Racker to someone who was completely heart broken when I saw this decline... It is as if they don't ever know what the CORE values are.

    Advice to Senior ManagementClean house and start over.

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